House-hunting for the “perfect” home.

In many ways, house-hunting is like looking for that perfect mate.  Very seldom does everything about your proposed mate match your desires.  Things you love at first may later get on your nerves and become what you don’t like so much later.  Does that mean the house is wrong for you?  Not necessarily.  It could be, but if you understand your tolerance level (what’s most important to you in a home, and what you can’t deal with at all), you are less likely to want to buy the wrong home.

House-hunting should be like dating. Take your time. Understand the critical must-haves, the not-so-important-but-I-kind-of-want-it, and the no- way, not-going-to-happen.

One way to streamline the process is to start making a list of the things you like about your current home.  If you are renting, there may be features about the home or apartment that you want to find again in the neighborhood where you’re planning to buy.

  • Take into consideration your commute time to work, shopping and family.  Do you need to be in walking distance to schools and recreation facilities?  This may not be a “deal-breaker”, but it can certainly change the way you’re used to living your life.  Moving to an isolated area when you are used to city living will be an adjustment as well as the rural dweller transitioning to city life.
  • Another thing to consider is how many times you’ve seen the home.  Just like dating, you might have an instant attraction, but the more times you see your date, the more you discover.  With a home (just like a prospective mate) you need to see it a few times and at different times of the day.   You will discover which rooms are dark and how the traffic is during rush hour.  What is happening in the neighborhood at various times of the day?  How does this match your lifestyle?

Just as with romance, the good ones will be gone if you wait too long.  When you find the right one, put an offer on that house!  

This content is not the product of the National Association of REALTORS®, and may not reflect NAR's viewpoint or position on these topics and NAR does not verify the accuracy of the content.